By Tricia Meola

Many small businesses are already aware of the options made available to them under federal programs enacted by the CARES Act. The State of New Jersey is also backing these businesses in an effort to stimulate growth through various economic initiatives.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program

  • Created to provide total of $10 million to NJ small businesses and non-profits to cover operating expenses and ensure continuity of business during COVID-19 outbreak; the maximum loan available of $100,000
  • Provides low-cost, flexible terms:
    • 10-year term and amortization
    • 0% interest rate years 1 – 5
    • Followed by NJEDA’s prevailing interest rate floor (capped at 3.0% years 6 – 10).
    • Payments are deferred for 12 months.
  • Eligibility requirements include:
    • Physical commercial location in the State of NJ; home-based businesses are not eligible
    • Must have been in existence for at least one year
    • Must have less than $5 million annual revenue, have positive EBITDA in 2019, and be able to show a global debt service coverage ratio of 1.00 (as of 12/31/19)
    • Are able to demonstrate negative impact related to COVID-19 on or after March 9, 2020.
    • Are registered to do business in the State of NJ and are in good tax standing with the State.
    • Are in good standing with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development
    • Are able to provide a CEO certification that the firm will make its best effort not to lay off employees or will re-hire employees as soon as possible.
    • Any company owner of more than 20% will need to personally guarantee the loan.
  • Applications are expected to open the week of 3/30; completed applications will be considered on a first-come, first-serve rolling basis. Review the eligibility guide here.

NJ Entrepreneur Guarantee Program

  • This $5 million program was created to encourage private sector investors to provide additional working capital loans to NJ-based entrepreneurial businesses in which the investor is already an equity holder.
    • Provides a guarantee of an investor loan advanced for working capital to an entrepreneurial company impacted by COVID-19. The investment must have been made after the date of emergency (March 9, 2020).
    • NJEDA will guarantee up to 80% of the total investment amount, not to exceed $200,000 per company.
  • Eligibility requirements include:
    • Have a minimum of 50% of employees in NJ with less than 25 total employees at time of application
    • Have under $5 million in revenues
    • Having corporate headquarters in NJ (including at least one C-suite member with a principal office in NJ)
    • Fall under one of these eight sectors: advanced manufacturing, information/technology, life sciences, finance and insurance, clean energy, food and beverage, advanced transportation, film and digital media.
    • Are registered to do business in the State of NJ and are in good tax standing with the State
    • Are in good standing with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
    • Investors must already have an equity interest and equity position in the company; investors can include individuals, trusts, and corporations. They do not need to be NJ residents.
  • The application process for this program is currently being designed and implemented. More information should become available soon. In the meantime, please refer to this helpful FAQ.

Does your business need guidance on how to proceed? Reach out to our team for more information or assistance with the application process.


Reach out to a Wiss team member for more information or assistance.

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